Does Lord of the Flies by William Golding rebel from or reflect an Elizabethan standard of writing?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lord of the Flies was published on 17 September 1954. Queen Elizabeth I reigned from 7 September 1533 to 24 March 1603. Many literary conventions changed over the ensuing 350 odd years. 

Lord of the Flies is a novel, an extended work of prose fiction. This genre barely existed in the Elizabethan period. The major genres of imaginative literature in the Elizabethan era were poetic drama and poetry. 

Next, the protagonists of Lord of the Flies are children. Children were not a major literary subject in the Elizabethan period. The late modern sentimentalization of childhood (against which Golding is somewhat rebelling) was a nineteenth-century innovation, not part of the Elizabethan world view.

Although the bleakly Hobbesian conception of human nature in the absence of authority has some links to both Hobbes and a Calvinistic sense of human innate corruption, Golding's own approach and views are more directly influenced by Freud, and the concepts of id, ego, and superego. 

Thus one can say that the novel neither reflects nor rebels against Elizabethan literary traditions, but is a modern novel  existing in a dialogue with nineteenth and twentieth century ideas and literary genres. 

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Lord of the Flies

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